The 7:53

It always seems to be the 7:53
That pauses, downs tools, at Rugby
Along one spur in that early morning sun
Lies Long Buckby, Places Unmentionable, Northampton
But I wait on the carriage with my fellow cattle
Crammed in, stacked up, unable to settle
For all stations to Milton Keynes
Kings Langley, or change for Apsley Guise
And what a hive of buzzing insanity
This longitudinal world, rich with humanity
A cross section of all walks of life
Blazered school kids, striped business-men, portly wives
One old chap, short sighted, I’d wager
Reads the column inches of the sports pages
Right up close, with his half-moons perched on his for’ead
And his armpits humming like a spluttering moped
Two ladies, more girls really
Swap make up tips; though the hour is early
Blink on eye liner, duskiness and kohl
Even through Stephenson’s 3 mile smoke hole
And despite the carriage yawing, despite the crush
Lipstick’s applied with a badger-hair brush
Mr Noisy, puts the world to rights
Preaching to the unconverted in the barely light
Works in Westminster for an NGO
But his opinions are those of my morning Metro
I pity the bloke who reads the script
For the buffet car, disengaged, slightly miffed
Or is it just his Mancunian tones
Spoken through a nose, all hair, snot and bone
A selection of bacon rolls, croy-sants, hot drinks
Cash only please, our machine’s on the blink

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